What other choice do they possibly have? It’s not like you can up and demote Fantastic Felipe Paulino or Jeff “The Canadian Crusader” Francis.
With Kyle Davies returning from the disabled list this week, the Royals plan to go to a six-man rotation, possibly for the rest of the season, according to manager Ned Yost.
The career ERAs of the Royals’ six starters:
4.60 (Bruce Chen)
4.61 (Danny Duffy, eight career starts)
5.45 (Luke Hochevar)
I’m not going to blame Yost for this. Davies is the Royals’ highest-paid starter at $3.2 million, and the front office probably isn’t keen on making him a reliever or simply releasing him, even though he’s 1-6 with a 7.46 ERA. And it wouldn’t really be fair to dump anyone from the current group to make room for Davies, though only Chen deserves any real semblance of job security based on his performance over the last year.
So, six it is, though probably only for a little while. Davies can’t have much more rope, and it’s not like anyone from the group has diplayed much durability lately. Davies, who is coming back from a sore shoulder, was the only one of the six to make 25 starts last season.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.